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Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 16


It's Week 16. It's Championship Week. If you've made it this far, you undoubtedly know the drill. It's also less likely you're in need of a player to pick up from the bowels of the waiver wire. But just for consistency sake and to ensure no championship-bound teams are left in the lurch, I'm going to suggest a few sparsely-owned players anyhow. We'll be opting for just one option at each position, however.

Considering there should be fewer free agent pickups this week with the championships underway in most leagues, we've increased the ownership percentage from 10% or fewer to 15% or fewer in Yahoo leagues.

At this point in the year you're pretty much looking strictly for one-week plays. So let's look at some potential championship-propelling waiver wire adds in deep leagues.

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Free Agent Quarterbacks

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos - 6% owned

I talked last week in this space about how it was uncomfortable to put your playoff hopes on the arm of a rookie quarterback with limited game action. And Lock showed why that was the case against Kansas City, putting up a stinker of a game. He registered just 208 passing yards and went scoreless in a mediocre matchup, although it's always a tough task for a rookie to play well at Arrowhead Stadium. But no one offers up "get right" games quite like the Detroit defense, who Lock gets to play at home this week.

The Lions are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, and just let Jameis Winston put up a career-high 458 passing yards (with four touchdowns to boot) even without his top receiver, Mike Evans on the field. Lock has shown a willingness to whip the ball downfield as well, which could make for career-high numbers for the rookie with a limited sample size.

 

Free Agent Running Backs

Mike Boone, Minnesota Vikings - 4% owned

Fantasy owners who relied on Dalvin Cook to get them into the playoffs were put into a nightmare scenario last week when he was forced to leave the game early with a shoulder injury. Though head coach Mike Zimmer has thus far downplayed Cook's injury, it's worth noting that he's never been the most reliable source of information when it comes to his player's health.

With Alexander Mattison also sidelined, Boone has the potential to be a one-week superstar for your fantasy squad. The second-year running back rumbled for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Cook's absence. Should he get the start, Boone will get to face off against a soft Packers run defense that has gotten gashed on many, many occasions this year.

 

Free Agent Wide Receivers

Diontae Johnson - Pittsburgh Steelers - 15% owned

Both Johnson and James Washington have seen their fair shares of boom games coupled with some real duds. The Steelers lost a low-scoring heartbreaker to the Bills last week, but both players eclipsed five receptions and 60 yards, despite the Steelers only notching one touchdown on the day.

Johnson has now had at least five receptions and 60 yards in both of his last two games, and even though he managed to fumble the ball away (twice!), he's still a favorite target of Devlin Hodges. And he gets to take on a Jets Defense that's allowed the 10th-most points to wide receivers.

 

Free Agent Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans 13% owned

Smith finally looked like the dynamic player dynasty owners have been praying would show up for the last three years. He was fast, sharp, and heavily utilized against Houston. Smith caught all five of his targets for 60 yards, and added another 57 yards on an absurd run that saw the tight end get up to 20 miles per hour. That kind of speed and athleticism is what should keep Smith heavily involved in the offense from here on our.

He has a beatable matchup against the Saints this week, so unless you have one of the premier tight ends in your starting lineup, Smith should be in consideration based on his massive upside.

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